On Thursday, I received a hefty blow to my ankle.
By Friday, my ankle had blown up and I could barely walk. An X-ray revealed that it was not broken, but ligament damage would mean that I would have to rest it up for a week or two.
I'm due to go skiing at the end of January, and because I'm obviously going to need my ankle in full working order for that, resting up and giving it a good chance of a full recovery seems like simple common sense to me. Why on earth would I want to do anything that would slow down my rehabilitation and might jeopardise all that outlay on a skiing holiday? Why risk it?
So why was it that by Sunday I was chafing at the bit to get out and do some exercise? My ankle was still bruised and pretty sore, but I was now able to get around quite a lot more easily, and my attention inevitably began to focus on wondering whether or not I could get away with going for a swim or something. Thanks in the main to a series of extremely disapproving / withering looks from C, I somehow found the strength to resist that urge and spent the day sat on the sofa watching the telly and reading the papers. I know that's how Sundays are supposed to be spent, but I really found it a struggle. My weekends are generally planned around my exercise routine: a run on the Saturday and a swim or something on the Sunday. Everything else is worked out around those two immoveables. This weekend was different: the last proper exercise that I have done was that game of football on Thursday evening. Under normal circumstances I would have done another 3 sessions since then (swim - run - swim). I'd probably give myself Monday evening off, but would be back out again over lunch on Tuesday for a run, another swim on Wednesday, football on Thursday, swim on Friday.... and so on.
I may have got a perfectly sensible excuse for not doing all this exercise, but the net result of missing out on those 3 sessions is that I feel fat and lazy. It's ridiculous, I know, but that's absolutely the way that I feel about it. I look at myself in the mirror and I imagine that I can see myself getting heavier and I'm desperate to do something about it.
By almost anyone's measure, I'm pretty skinny already, and my metabolism is stoked up so high that I could presumably stand to rest for a few days without putting on so much as an extra pound. For whatever reason though, I do not see it like that: when I look in the mirror I do not see the thin, bony man with the sticky-outy veins and the hollow cheeks that everyone else seems to see. When I look at myself, even though I can easily count my own ribs, I only ever see the bits that wobble and I imagine them getting bigger and bigger the longer I look at them and do nothing. As a result, I feel compelled to exercise, and when I do exercise, I feel compelled to flog myself. I don't like to weight train, I like to run. I only swim because I need to do something that helps to stop the muscle wastage in my upper body that the WTs are causing and because it stretches my back out; it always feels like a fairly gentle form of exercise to me, and is therefore a bit unsatisfying. Only running really gives me the feeling that I am working hard enough - nothing else makes me sweat so much or makes my muscles ache so much. That's the one exercise that really feels as though it's doing me some good. It hurts, and pain is good.
I haven't exercised since Thursday and I'm facing up to the fact that I realistically won't be able to anything much until next Saturday at the earliest.
The very thought of it is driving me mad with frustration.
Crazy, I know, but that appears to be who I am.
I think maybe I might try a swim tomorrow night.
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